HomeThe Market‘Blower’ Bentleys to run Italy's classic Mille Miglia

‘Blower’ Bentleys to run Italy’s classic Mille Miglia


A Blower Bentley passes through the narrow streets of an Italian town | Bentley Motors
A Blower Bentley passes through the narrow streets of an Italian town | Bentley Motors

Two legendary “Blower” Bentleys, the massive race cars that competed in such events as the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the early 1930s, will roar again on the highways of Italy for the 2014 edition of the Mille Miglia road rally.

Bentley Motors is bringing the 4½ Liter supercharged race cars to the world-famous classic car event, which happens May 15-19 on a 1,000-mile back-roads course through the Italian countryside.

The pair of Blower Bentleys includes the 1930 Le Mans Team Car once owned by Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, the most-famous member of a group of British gentlemen racers known as the Bentley Boys. The other car is a former company demonstrator Blower with its original Vanden Plas Open, Sports Four Seater body.

A throng of spectators at last year's Mille Miglia | Bentley Motors
The throng of spectators at last year’s Mille Miglia | Bentley Motors

Both Bentleys have completed the modern Mille Miglia challenge several times, and with their dark green livery and distinctive rumbling exhaust note, they’re popular sightings for the thousands of spectators who line the route.

Bentley Motors will host a gathering of the Bentley Drivers Club in the historic city of Brescia on the afternoon before the race, with an international cadre of owners bringing their own cars for display.

“We plan to see Bentley’s Blowers and their drivers off in style,” said Steve Miller, secretary of the Bentley Drivers Club. “There will be Bentleys from all eras, some of them extremely rare, in Brescia to mark the start of Mille Miglia, and it should be a real celebration of great cars.”

The 2014 Mille Miglia, now in its 24th year, is a road-rally re-enactment of what was formerly a thousand-mile road race, which was run 24 times from 1927 through 1958 under the same name. Mille Miglia is Italian for “thousand miles.”

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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